Fun day at Minute Maid.

Please indulge me while I wallow in a bit of nostalgia with the pictures I’m posting today. The Astros celebrated their 10th season at Minute Maid Park with a pregame ceremony on Tuesday that brought back some of the most popular players and managers in the last decade, and it was great to see everyone again. I can’t remember the last time I saw Shane Reynolds, who has barely aged since he last pitched for the Astros in 2001. Larry Dierker was there, as was Phil Garner, Jeff Bagwell and the newly-retired Jeff Kent, who is happily living in Austin, running a couple of businesses and hanging out with the family. I wonder how long it will be before he misses baseball. He seems pretty content right now.

First, a couple of news and notes from last night’s game:
* With runners on first and second and nobody out in the ninth inning, Michael Bourn was given the bunt sign from the dugout. Although Bourn initially showed bunt, he ended up swinging away, presumably in an effort to fool the Cubs fielders and slap a single over someone’s head. It didn’t work. Bourn ended up reaching on a fielder’s choice, while Jeff Keppinger was erased at third.

Asked about it after the game, Cecil Cooper confirmed Bourn was instructed to bunt and said, “I have to talk to Michael about that.”

But Cooper also defended his center fielder: “In that situation, a lot of times it is tough to put down a bunt, and guys do have the green light to do something with the ball other than bunt it right. Ii thought it was a pretty good play, he just didn’t quite execute it.”

* The Astros’ 3-2 10th inning win over the Cubs marked the first time in a while the game was not won because of a  Darin Erstad contribution. The Astros’ last walkoff win arrived via a home run by Erstad last Sept. 26, versus the Braves, and the club’s last walkoff win in extra innings occurred on Aug. 2 of last year, versus the Mets. Erstad won that one with a sac fly.

On to the photos…

Geoff Blum and Jeff Kent

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Larry Dierker, wearing his signature Hawaiian shirt.

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Phil Garner, Roy Oswalt

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This was kind of a cool shot — that’s Jeff Kent and Russ Ortiz, who were teammates on the 2002 Giants club that lost to Darin Erstad’s Angels in the World Series. To the left is Shane Reynolds; Bagwell is behind Ortiz. The big guy in the middle is Doug Brocail.  

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Jeff Kent, standing alongside 10-year season ticket holders.

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Kent and Bagwell, and Reynolds (looking down). Who’s that man in the middle? Why, that’s Buck, who works for Dennis Liborio in the Astros’ clubhouse.

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Shane Reynolds.

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Reynolds, Dierker, Kent.

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 Alyson Footer is on Facebook and Twitter.

10 Comments

Nice pictures and great memories. I don’t see Coop giving Michael too much trouble about what he did; I think it was a pretty good idea, it just didn’t work out. The way Bourn has been hitting, how could you be mad at him?

Nice to see Ichabod go deep last nite, more satisfying than Monday.
But it brings up an interesting point that I’ve been thinking about for a few years now.

If magic existed, and you could become a MLB worthy talent, what price would you be willing to pay. I’m not talking about a deal with the devil (I don’t think I am anyway), but would you be willing to trade being able to play like Hunter Pence if you had to have his looks. I suppose he still gets some strange, but it’s gotta be rough.
Curious about others thoughts.

Ichabod! Classic! Wish I’d thought of that.

I guess it depends what he’s got in his pence. Get it? Pence? Pants? Get it?

More flags. More fun!

Gotta agree wit you guys, Hunter is one ugly dude. I saw his family pointed out on a broadcast last year… Kentucky’s finest cousins must have mated. The gene pool must be 1, maybe 1 1/2 inches deep.
But as long as he can go deep, I don’t care, because it’s about ability, not looks. We can’t all have the total package like Alyson.

Thanks for the pictures Alyson. I enjoyed them, as always.

Commenting on playing ability is one thing, but spouting hurtful, vile drivel is disgusting. Making hurtful remarks regarding someone’s family is inexcusable. Apparently, “Kentuckey’s finest cousins” as you hatefully stated knew how to parent as, to my knowledge, they raised a fine son who knows how to show class on and off the field. Also, as an Astros fan, you should realize that lack of confidence can as easily manifest itself at homeplate as it can in front of a mirror. Think about it…is it better to tear down or build up?

Commenting on playing ability is one thing, but spouting hurtful, vile drivel is disgusting. Making hurtful remarks regarding someone’s family is inexcusable. Apparently, “Kentuckey’s finest cousins” as you hatefully stated knew how to parent as, to my knowledge, they raised a fine son who knows how to show class on and off the field. Also, as an Astros fan, you should realize that lack of confidence can as easily manifest itself at homeplate as it can in front of a mirror. Think about it…is it better to tear down or build up?

Commenting on playing ability is one thing, but spouting vile, disgusting drivel regarding something as subjective as appearance is ridiculous. Making hateful remarks regarding someone’s family is inexcusable. To my knowledge, “Kentuckey’s finest cousin” knew how to parent, as they raised a son who knows how to show class on and off the field. Also, as a “fan” you should be aware that lack of confidence can manifest itself as easily at homeplate as it can in front of the mirror. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to build up rather than tear down?

Alyson,
I’d love to see a video on the site of Jeff Kent’s walkoff homer in that 2004 NLCS Game 5. Is that possible? I think I only saw it once when it happened before I went running through the house waking up my roommates. It would be good to see it again.

Alyson,
I’d love to see a video on the site of Jeff Kent’s walkoff homer in that 2004 NLCS Game 5. Is that possible? I think I only saw it once when it happened before I went running through the house waking up my roommates. It would be good to see it again.

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